La vie devant soi (1977) AKA Madame Rosa

Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she’s a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor, a foster mom to children of other prostitutes. Momo is the oldest and her favorite, an Algerian lad whom she raises as a Muslim. He asks about his parents; she answers evasively. As she ages and takes fewer children, Momo must do more for her; as money is tight, he tries to earn pennies on the street with a puppet. He’s a beautiful man-child, and Madame Rosa makes him promise never to sell himself or become a pimp.

Director: Moshé Mizrahi.
Stars: Simone Signoret, Claude Dauphin, Samy Ben-Youb, Mohammed Zineth, Gabriel Jabbour, Michael Bat-Adam, Elio Bencoil, Bernard La Jarrige, Genevieve Fontanel, Stella Annicette. 

1978 Academy Awards – Winner for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
1978 Golden Globes – Nominated for the Award for Best Foreign Film.


AKA Madame Rosa

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  1. Jon Whitehead
    August 6, 2018

    RIP Moshé Mizrahi (5 September 1931 – 3 August 2018).

  2. Bob Verini
    August 8, 2018

    This is a lovely movie, and a surprising one. Nothing much happens, does it—and yet you leave it feeling you’ve really gotten to know Rosa: what makes her tick, and how difficult as well as inspiring her life has been. I don’t expect ever to forget Signoret or Ben-Youb. Just sublime.

  3. ciccillo
    September 24, 2019

    a masterpiece, many thanks!

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